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WATCH: Face masks not compulsory in Premier League restart

All 20 Premier League clubs have agreed to strict medical protocols as top flight English football prepares to return on June 17. They include air travel, makeshift changing rooms and face masks are optional. Photo: Reuters/John Sibley

All 20 Premier League clubs have agreed to strict medical protocols as top flight English football prepares to return on June 17. They include air travel, makeshift changing rooms and face masks are optional. Photo: Reuters/John Sibley

Published Jun 13, 2020

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LONDON - The Premier League has ensured through rigorous

testing that it is ready to return on June 17 after a 100-day hiatus

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due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

All players and club staff have been tested for Covid-19 twice weekly

since a return to training on May 19. 

After over 7,000 tests, only 14 positive results have been found and

now all Premier League clubs have decided on the rules for the "new

normal" of English football. 

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Here is how each of the 92 remaining fixtures will work: 

FORMALITIES:

 On match day, each player and staff member of the club

will fill out a screening questionnaire and have their temperature

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checked before entering the stadium. They will record these results

in a "clinical passport" that will be used as an app on their phone

or a piece of paper to confirm their Covid-19 status. If they have

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tested negative in the last five days, they will be allowed to enter.

If there is a suspect case of Covid-19, confirmed by a registered

officer, the person will be turned away and told to self-isolate. If

it is a person involved in the match itself, the game could be called

off but that is judged on circumstance. 

TEAM TRAVEL:

The Premier League encourages air travel for teams on

long-haul trips, for example, Southampton to Newcastle United. For

shorter journeys, up to three coaches may be used to

socially-distance players and other staff must travel individually in

their own vehicles. Overnight stays in hotels is permitted but the

league says to avoid this option if possible. 

PERSONS IN STADIUMS: 

Stadiums are divided into three zones and the

total capacity must not exceed more than 300 people. These consist of

players, staff, scouts, media and doping control officers. The zones

are labelled red, amber and green. The red zone is the playing area

where there should be no more than 110 people at any time with 37 red

zone pass holders per team. In terms of media, there will be one

match commentator for the broadcast rights holders of BBC Radio 5

Live and Talksport. Summarizers will be asked to provide their

comments live from their homes. There will be a maximum of 25 written

media along with club performance analysts in the amber zone tribune.

The green zone is stadium exterior for persons involved with

security. 

DRESSING ROOM:

If a club has a small changing room that is impossible

to guarantee social distancing, clubs may turn hospitality boxes into

extra changing room space. Post-match showers are allowed and

distance must be observed. Medical staff must wear PPE (Personal

Protective Equipment) face masks when treating injured players. 

TEAMS ON PITCH: 

The teams enter the pitch separately and also

separately from the match officials. They are not allowed to enter

side-by-side. There will be no ball children or mascots and

handshakes between players and captains are suspended. There will be

a one-minute drinks break per half to ease fatigue in high

temperature weather and players must use hand sanitizer or gel each

time they enter or leave the pitch. 

ON THE SUBS' BENCH:

Players will be required to sit two seats apart

while face masks are optional instead of compulsory. The league has

increased the number of substitutes from seven to nine in light of

the rule change that the number of substitutes allowed to be used has

increased from three to five. The technical areas will increase in

size accordingly. Balls, corner flags, goalposts and substitute

boards are to be regularly disinfected at appropriate intervals. 

BEHAVIOUR DURING GAMES:

Players have been asked not to spit or "clear

their nose" during games and goal celebrations must not break social

distancing rules so any form of contact is prohibited. 

AFTER THE MATCH:

 Broadcast media will be allowed to conduct TV

interviews after the game at a safe distance outside and away from

the pitch. Post-match news conferences with coaches and written media

will be held on videoconference platform Zoom. 

ATMOSPHERE:

There will be no simulation of stadium atmosphere during

games but music when teams enter the pitch and after goals is

permitted. Broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport are introducing

optional crowd noise for viewers during their live coverage of the

games. 

dpa

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